You folks have any favorite, effective recepies? I wanted to spray some of
my flowers for the ants and the little thingies that thet seem to herd and
take care of, but didn't want to use anything that will harm the bees and
humming birds. I've heard of soap and water but don't really know how
effective that would be.
Soap and water is my favorite. The little thingies are probably
aphids. You don't want them. The ants on the other hand are good in
the garden (not in the kitchen). The ants create little tunnel and
such. They also herd the aphids onto certain plants, making them
easier to kill. Very nice critters they are.
Anyway, here is the recipe I use:
2 tsp dish soap (use a good phosphate free one)
1 liter of water.
Mix well and spray directly on bugs. Some people add garlic extract
or lemon or orange to the mixture. The soap will suffocate them. The
rest sticks around for a while and scares off others from returning.
Join the team. Start living a sustainable life. Start making a
If it's only one plant, just wipe them off. Use something soft,
like tissue, facial or toilet, a piece of cotton, some soft cloth,
and just rub gently till they're gone. Check in a couple of days
and repeat as necessary.
If you use an insecticide, even a fairly benign one, or a "natural" one like
pyrethrum, it kills insects. That means bees and other beneficials as well as
the harmfuls. Finding out what exactly it is that is causing the problem is a
good start. Ants tend to aphids and to mealy bugs, both of which are harmful
You can try to wash off the bugs and ants, once the bugs are gone the ants
will go too. The aphids that are washed off will die as they cannot get back
up to the soft shoots etc that they like to suck on. Washing is not too hard
with aphids but a few will hang on and breed up again quickly if the
conditions are right. Mealy bugs are really hard to wash off. Mealy bugs are
really hard to get rid of - pray you don't have them.
You can use an insecticide when the bees are not around, ie after sunset. If
you use a contact spray (pyrethrum will kill aphids easily) and don't get it
on the bees they will be safe.
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